Stationary bikes — or exercise bikes — are a form of exercise equipment that simulate the activity of riding a bicycle indoors or in a stationary environment. Essentially, these devices are exercise machines of special purpose, featuring the act of bicycling without the motion. The special purpose can be exercise for physical fitness or physical therapy.
Occasionally you’ll find stationary bikes that use your regular street bike. These stationary bike stands feature real bikes placed on trainers or rollers. If you watch professional cycling, you’ll often see cyclists utilizing trainers and rollers to warm up for cycling races.
One of the great benefits of using stationary bicycles is that they allow you to get a safe, low impact cardiovascular workout with ease and comfort. With a stationary bicycle, a person can strengthen his or her heart while burning fat and toning the muscles in the glutes, legs and abdominal area.
People use stationary bikes to increase overall fitness, reach for specific exercise goals and to train for competitive cycling. In addition, stationary bikes have long been used in physical therapy for the safe and low impact exercise they provide. With stationary bikes, you minimize stress to joints and injured limbs and you obtain a smooth, fluid and constant motion without the jolts sometimes possible on other exercise equipment.
Of course, one of the most common uses of the stationary bike is weight loss. A rigorous 60 minute ride can burn hundreds of calories, and that ride can be experience indoors away from the weather and while you enjoy your favorite book or watch television.
Almost all stationary bikes include functionality to provide varying resistance during your pedaling. Different methods for providing this resistance include fans (air resistance), magnets (magnetic resistance) and friction devices including fluid resistance. Increasing the resistance can increase the intensity and muscle workout of your stationary biking session. Some modern models even include backwards pedaling to exercise the opposing muscles you use from pedaling forward.
I encourage you to try different resistance types before you make your stationary bike investment as it will largely come down to personal preference.
Typical stationary bikes now include mini exercise bikes (or peddlers), upright stationary bikes and recumbent stationary bikes.
These stationary bikes, sometimes considered the opposite of upright stationary bikes, have become remarkably popular in recent years. Recumbent exercise bikes place the saddle closer to the ground and more behind then above the wheel. The result is a position similar to lounging backwards and extending your legs in front of you.
Since some individuals may experience discomfort from sitting on an upright stationary bike seat for long periods of time, recumbent stationary bikes provide a comfortable alternative so that a broader spectrum of the population can reap the benefits of stationary bike exercise.
Problems which may lead people to require a recumbent stationary bike include back problems, prostate problems and hemorrhoids.
Additionally, the position of the seat often affords stationary bikes greater flexibility in saddles style. Thus you will often see comfortable bucket seats used for stationary bikes.
A stationary bike stand is an excellent way to transform your traditional bicycle into an indoor, all-weather exercise machine. Stationary bike stands come in two basic forms, stationary bike trainers or stationary bike rollers.
You’ll find that a majority of the fluid trainers will remain quite silent. My personal preference is a Blackburn Trakstand Ultra. Some other indoor trainers can make a distracting noise. The only noise on this stationary bike stand is a result of basic tire noise, which you can minimize with a yellow trainer tire from Continental.
I have some tips for you if you go this route. First of all, if your bicycle features a rear quick release, be certain to get a stainless steel skewer for better supporting your bicycle’s weight. I also encourage you to setup some kind of fan to produce air movement. This not only feels good while you exercise, but it keeps your core biology from feeling confused at the lack of movement.
And last but not least, I strongly suggest some kind of sweat shield for your stationary bike setup. You’ll notice that manufactured stationary bikes keep their parts insulated from your sweat, usually from some kind of basic plastic enclosure. Perspiring indoors on your bike will corrode both your bicycle’s core components as well as the frame.
So protect that bike and appreciate that the frame and cycle aren’t used to being used in such a stationary bike stand, so adapt it appropriately.
Because the action of a bicycle can be so health for many individuals recuperating from surgery or other physical ailments, the mini stationary bike has become more and more commonplace, especially in physical therapy facilities and hospitals.
The mini exercise bike basically isolates the pedaling motion without providing the seat and handlebars. It provides a workout while seated at table, on a couch or other common contexts. Some peddlers are even intended to be placed on a tabletop and used by hands.
There are also portable bikes, which are essentially a compact version of an upright exercise bike. Many of these models fold for easy storage.
As you can see, there are all kinds of stationary bikes to fulfill all kinds of body types and physical predicaments. To fully appreciate the value of stationary bikes, you need to appreciate the importance of regular exercise and how challenging it often is for people to obtain that exercise in their contemporary lives.
Stationary bike training may reduce risk of heart disease, contribute to reducing high blood pressure, strengthen bones and muscles to curb osteoporosis, and helps fend off diabetes and obesity by helping you keep your weight down and your metabolism up.
In addition, unlike some other more rigorous exercise regiments, stationary bikes help you keep your ligaments, joints and tendons flexible without incurring the wear and tear of impact. This helps you keep your mobility and reduces fitness fatigue.
And of course, there are all the benefits of general exercise, including improving mental health while curbing depression, relieving anxiety and stress and improving your overall endurance and energy.
And did you know that regular exercise actually helps people sleep better?
So don’t give yourself the excuses of bad weather or a commute to your local gym; place a comfortable and durable stationary bike in your home and get your exercise while you read, enjoy music, watch the news or watch your favorite television shows. If you think a quality exercise bike will cost more than you can afford consider looking at used stationary bikes.
I hope this helps you appreciate how and why stationary bikes will make an excellent contribution to your quality of life and longevity. Thank you for visiting the Stationary Bikes Guide. Please return soon as I will be reviewing popular brands like the Schwinn Stationary Bike and the Proform Stationary Bike.